Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's lighten up a bit - I'm planning a trip to Fez.
Take the coach to Algeciras, then ferry to Tangier
stay there a night maybe
then train up to Fez for a few days
see the sights and back the same way
Any tips from the travellers among us?
Visa, passport, cash, credit card machines, hostels, hotels, cafe bars, taxis, tour guides, food edible, water drinkable, tannery, alcohol, police, public toilets, consulates, first aid, sun cream etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,432 Posts
Sounds like a trip I'd love to do. Once the baby is old enough we'll be travelling but let us know how it goes!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I'm for Morocco in 3 weeks time for a spot of that backpacking malarky lol can't believe I'm doing that and it was my suggestion to the other half. I bought the rough guide book to Morocco which is good reading and lonely planet as good info on it as well and both covering what you've asked. Not sure if we'll be going to Fez as flights are booked but no accommodation, we'll do that when we get there. We fly from Belfast-Luton-Marrakech then the overnight train to Tangiers and we'll work our way from there. I'm so excited as we've never done anything like this before, just decided we've done all the usual beach holidays so this will be taking us out of our comfort zone. Just a small selection of what I can remember at the moment-:
1. Make sure you have at least 6 months on your passport
2. If you've EU passport you don't need visa but you do have to fill in forms on
ferry, do this asap when you're onboard or you could have a long wait and
make sure you get your passport stamped
3. Some places take Euros but they prefer dirhams which I think you can only
get when you're there
4. Credit cards, not everywhere accepts them
5. Some people have booked accommodation online and hotel\hostel have had
no record of this and they've had to pay again
6. Taxis can be shared which makes it cheaper although agree a price before
you get in
7. Take toilet roll and hand sanitiser and spade to dig a hole lol joke
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Back from Fez

Thanks for all that
I have been back about a week, you are right about the visas, when you get off the boat some guy comes up to you and gives you one to fill in, then takes you to the passport office then takes you to the taxi place, and of course he wants some baksheesh
2e seems right, but that is 20Dirham, and they will look hurt and ask for 10e, so be prepared
The taxi was OK, we did agree the price first, and he will stop to let you get out and take photos
The hostel as you said, had a record of us, but the prices on the web site are out of date, and the room we wanted was taken, but there is a double size room we could let you have for twice the price. Be ready to negotiate and walk off somewhere else. If you are not good at that I suggest you go to a B&B in Swansea (Joke)
Don't drink the water, bottles are very cheap, about 5p each.
Avoid free loaders who offer help because the tourist shop is shut and it is Sunday and we are just as good and where are you from and let me show you to your hotel - unless you are really lost and have some spare dinero
Dont be too upset at the sight of women scrubbing carpets in the river while the men sit round the car park drinking mint water.
When they show you the Tannery in Fez, admire the view, but be prepared for an IKEA type trip to the exit, where you will be shown wallets, jackets, belts, trousers, hats, purses bags and belts. If you don't buy your guide gets a bad reputation, he gets unhappy and takes you to an English restaurant. The English man is away at the moment but the prices are London prices.
And there is more, but enjoy the experience, keep your passport close to your chest and your hands in your pockets
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So, out of interest, what were the good bits? What made it all worth the hassle? Would you go again and if so what would you do differently?
It is a truth, frequently discovered, that you enjoy the experience of doing something for the first time but once.
The taxis, the hostels, the medinas, the views, the mess and the raw humanity, those were the good bits.
My advice is don't go on your own: you need a companion to share the load, the decision making, for moral support and to keep the pests away.
Would I go again? Not to Fez, but Marrakesh or Casablanca possibly.
Forget Arabic that is too complicated, forget English they are not ready for that. But you wil get by with a French phrase book - Bon chance
Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,935 Posts
It is a truth, frequently discovered, that you enjoy the experience of doing something for the first time but once.
The taxis, the hostels, the medinas, the views, the mess and the raw humanity, those were the good bits.
My advice is don't go on your own: you need a companion to share the load, the decision making, for moral support and to keep the pests away.
Would I go again? Not to Fez, but Marrakesh or Casablanca possibly.
Forget Arabic that is too complicated, forget English they are not ready for that. But you wil get by with a French phrase book - Bon chance
Mike
Thanks for that.

I am very tempted by the idea of a rural retreat, a riad (sp?) up in the Atlas mountains perhaps, with a ride out into the desert, and all that wonderful food. But I don't like cities at the best of times, especially when I don't know my way around, so I think I'll give Fez a miss - and as a blonde female I would definitely not go alone to any Muslim country.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I've just got back and had a great time. Spent 3 days in Marrakech first and it was amazing but crazy. We got a standard twin room with air con which was seriously needed in a hotel about 20 minutes from jemaa el fna which cost £62 in total for two of us with breakfast included. The amount of traffic is unbelievable there and they don't bother with the traffic lights or zebra crossings and anyone with chest problems I definitely wouldn't advise Marrakech, the fumes from the traffic would choke the healthiest lungs and this is all day long not just rush hour time, even at midnight it's manic. The market was fantastic although you're not left alone just to wander around it, everyone wants a piece of you, we actually said that we were glad we didn't have kids with us as they'd either be terrified or in awe of it all. It's really got to be visited to be believed, I'd definitely go back sometime when it's cooler as the125 degrees heat was stifling. We took the overnight train from Marrakech to Tangiers then spent a few days in Tetouan, much cooler at about 100 degrees lol and not as crazy. The beggars pestered us more here but I'd got used to totally blanking them as we found the more we said 'no' the more we were pestered (I did feel rude doing this). I'd been warned before I went not to ask for directions as they'd look for money, this didn't happen as we had to ask directions eventually and were always treated with courtesey. Agree with forgetting about English as in Marrakech it was mainly French and in Tetouan it was Spanish. Even though Marrakech was crazy I preferred it to Tangiers and Tetouan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
A trip to Marrakech

We spent 4 days in Marrakech last year and had a great time. But I think 4 days was enough ! We went with another couple which made the trip seem safer somehow. We flew from Alicante via Ryanair at the ridiculous price of €10 each, return !
A €20 taxi ride took us into the centre of the Medina (walled city) where we trundled down smelly, narrow alleyways closely avoiding death by speeding mopeds and trotting donkeys. At this stage we began to wonder if we had done the right thing in coming at all. We went through a scruffy looking door which opened out into the most amazing Riad which was like going into another world ! ( Accueil ) This little private hotel was run by a very nice French lady, and is highly recommended for a few days stay.
We soon found two places, apart from the Riad, where we could drink beer and wine. No alcohol is supposed to be served within the Medina, but some places seem to have got round that ruling somehow.
The markets and the souk were amazing. You could buy almost anything that you wanted. Lots of begging which was difficult to cope with during the first day, but we became hardened to it after a while. The whole place was an absolute eye opener.......very poor people in a very poor place. But it was vibrant and stimulating and had a sort of magic. The traffic at certain times of the day was quite unbelievable. Everything just hurtled round at hair raising speed and somehow there was never any sign of a collision. To cross the main road at this time was really quite dangerous, and we had to take our lives in our hands at certain times !
At first we felt threatened by the thought of getting rolled down any one of those hundreds of back alleys, but were assured by the Riad owner that there was very little theft or nasty business within the Medina. Seemingly there are many plain clothed police and informers, within the walled city, whose job it is to keep an eye on the tourists and help to ensure their safety.
We didn't like the food very much, which was disappointing. But all in all it was a very interesting stay. A day trip to the Atlas Mountains was worthwhile as well.
A word of warning.......never wander around with a tourist's street map. You will be inundated with people insisting on showing you around and more often than not you will end up in a huge carpet shop, which you will find very difficult to get out of without parting with money. And the "guide" will relentlessly pester you for money, so watch out !
Yes.......3 or 4 days covers it I think.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top